Cakes Takes on Ad Astra (Movie Review)
Ad Astra movie poster
Ad Astra Movie Review
So I watched this movie back in 2019 on the very last day of the calendar year, kinda fitting as it deals with stars and space and whatnot. A part of me wishes that I had gone to see it in theaters just because it was visually stunning as a feature. With a beautiful Latin title that translates to "To the stars", this movie depicts space in a very interesting yet beautiful light. The plot follows the still gorgeously aging, Brad Pitt, who is an astronaut, into space to find his father played by Tommy Lee Jones who went on a secret mission years prior for an experiment that is now all these years later putting Earth in danger. Usually space is not my thing. It freaks me the hell out. Too much nothingness, no air, no gravity for me and that scares me. But this film takes its plot, the imagery of space and scenes out on ships and whatnot, and makes space feel less scary, but also makes you realize that it also is nothing to play with either though.
In the movie, Brad’s character is still trying to measure up to the man, the name and the astronaut that his father once was and to overcome the emotional trauma that his father bestowed upon him by leaving. The movie also goes into detail to show us the effects that his father’s departure had on his life as an adult and in his own personal relationships with people. In concept, the movie sounds cool, especially when they get to space. There’s some parts of the movie that I almost couldn’t believe was actually in this film like space pirates and monkeys in space (Left turn kinda stuff) but aside from the things that were added for shocks and were made to create thrilling portions of the film, the movie did not blast off for me (pun intended). The movie scratches at the surface of what COULD BE a real emotional tearjerker, but it never broke through. It does deal in heavy emotions and makes you WANT to feel for the character but the writing is probably what threw it off for me as a whole. Even at the height of the movie, a part that I KNOW was supposed to get really sad, was not there for me. The connections that they were trying to draw up in the movie had not been earned and it just seemed forced for the sake of the vibe they were going for in the film.
I felt little to no connection with the characters and the most heartbreaking part didn't gut punch me like I wanted it to and felt like it could have. The lack of emotion that they did not build correctly, was made up for in random action scenes that brightened up the dreary mood of the film. The whole movie seemed very monologue-y for the most part. The action scenes were loud, obnoxious and bright with a lot going on. They just never fit the mood of the movie to me. Some of the action in the movie had me extend my suspension of disbelief a little further than I wanted to, because with a movie so rooted in reality, it really came off to me as if it was trying to do other things as well but didn’t know how to go about it though. The one thing that this movie did have going for it was its star in Brad Pitt. He is a lowkey legend in the business and a name that will bring in good money if he has a good role to play. Brad is always worth a watch on screen, especially when he has a cool character he’s playing, but this wasn’t one of those roles. This was a role that we were supposed to sympathize with and I just couldn't because of the boring writing.
But even without his character being “a cool guy” or somebody you’d wanna be like, I don’t think there was enough that Brad could’ve done without a better script to make this role any better. I’ve seen him play characters that I could sympathize with better than this, because they have better writing. That is really the sad part of the film for me, was that this was the first movie I’d seen him in for a while, and THIS was what they came up with?! Okay… (lol!) His looks, along with the visual presentation of the film as a whole, and the random action are enough to keep your attention enough though. I wouldn’t get too excited about the film, even if I was a huge fan of Brad Pitt, honestly. It’s not bad work, but it’s not his finest work either though. I mean the film barely made back what it cost to make it, so it’s easy to see why it’s not the best movie he’s ever been in before. The movie can easily come across as slow paced and boring. If you like space, space talk, NASA or anything dealing with going into space, I’d say check it out.
Actors, Actresses, and Production
Brad Pitt (star and producer)
James Gray (director, writer and producer)
Regency Enterprises (production company)
Tommy Lee Jones
Dede Gardner (producer)
Bona Film Group (production company)
Jeremy Kleiner (producer)
New Regency (production company)
Arnon Milchan (producer)
Plan B Entertainment (production company)
Anthony Katagas (producer)
RT Entertainment (production company)
Rodrigo Teixeira (producer)
Keep Your Head Productions (production company)
Ethan Gross (writer)
Mad River Productions (production company)
Max Richter (music)
TSG Entertainment (production company)
Lorne Balfe (music)
20th Century Fox (international distribution company)
Hoyte van Hoytema (cinematography)
Polybona Films (Asian distribution company)
John Axelrad (editor)
Lee Haugen (editor)
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This movie is a Diamond in the Rough!
Money! Money! Money!
So like I said above, this movie barely made back what it cost them to make it as a whole. The movie costed about $80-$100 million to make and only grossed about $133 million! That is a bit sad! Not super sad, but it does say something about how it under-performed at the box office though. That's barely enough money for actors to split and take home and pay everyone else in the room as well. It makes me wonder what they all went home with in their checks for this film.